The Secretariats of the African-Eurasian
Migratory Waterbird Agreement (UNEP/AEWA
and the Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS
are pleased to announce the countdown for World Migratory
Bird Day 2010. This two-day awareness raising campaign will
take place globally for the fifth consecutive year from
8-9 May 2010
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)
aims to inspire people to take action for the conservation
of migratory birds and encourages national authorities,
non-governmental organizations (NGOs), clubs and societies,
universities, schools and individuals around the world to
organize events and programmes, which help draw attention
to migratory birds around a central theme each year.
This year’s theme is “Save migratory
birds in crisis – every species counts!”
It is closely linked to the International Year of Biodiversity
declared by the United Nations for 2010.
The WMBD 2010 theme aims to
raise awareness on globally threatened migratory birds,
with a particular focus on those on the very edge of extinction
– the Critically Endangered migratory birds. In line
with the International Year of Biodiversity, the 2010 WMBD
theme also highlights how migratory birds are part of the
biological diversity of our world and how the threat of
extinction faced by individual bird species is a reflection
of the larger extinction crisis threatening other species
and the natural diversity that underpins all life on earth.
Migratory birds in crisis
A staggering 1,227, or 12,4% of the total
9,865 extant bird species in the world are currently classified
as globally threatened and 192 of these are considered Critically
Endangered on the IUCN Red List of threatened species, i.e.
they face an extremely high risk of becoming extinct.
An estimated 19% of all known birds and
about 30 of the 192 Critically Endangered bird species are
considered to be migratory and undertake regular cyclical
movements between their breeding and non-breeding areas.
Some prominent examples of “migratory
birds in crisis” being highlighted in the context
of this year’s WMBD campaign include the Slender-billed
Curlew (Numenius tenuirostris), the Northern Bald
Ibis (Geronticus eremita), the Sociable Lapwing
(Vanellus gregarius), the Waved Albatross (Phoebastria
irrorata) and the Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema
chrysogaster) – all of which are migratory and
listed as Critically Endangered.
Migratory birds as indicators
By focusing on “migratory birds in
crisis” during the International Year of Biodiversity,
World Migratory Bird Day 2010 is also highlighting the role
played by birds as indicators, enabling us to clearly see
and highlight the negative effects our current way of life
is having on the planet and it’s biodiversity.
As one of the best researched taxa, birds
serve as vital indicators for the state of biodiversity
and the biological health of the ecosystems they inhabit.
If a bird species becomes threatened with extinction it
is often a clear sign that the conditions of the required
habitats have changed and that other species that depend
on them may also be affected.
Migratory birds rely on several different
habitats to survive – often across several continents.
They need areas to breed, rest, feed and to raise their
young. The conservation of migratory birds depends to a
large extent on the conservation of their habitats, thereby
simultaneously benefiting other species.
WMBD 2010 during the International Year of Biodiversity
The International Year of Biodiversity (IYB),
declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations for
the year 2010, is an appreciation of the value of biodiversity
and the vital role it plays in all our lives. However, it
is not only a celebration, but also an invitation to take
action to safeguard the variety of life on earth. Humankind
relies on this diversity, because it provides us with food,
fuel, medicine and other essentials which we need to survive.
Yet species are disappearing at an unprecedented
rate because of human activities, amongst other threats,
and these losses are irreversible. In fact, the current
rate of extinction is a thousand times faster than the natural
one. For birds, the natural rate of extinction is one bird
per century, but in the last thirty years alone, 21 bird
species have become extinct. Without immediate action, many
of the “migratory birds in crisis” will no longer
exist in ten year’s time.
Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2010 is an opportunity
to take action and to draw international attention to those
migratory birds which are threatened by extinction and to
highlight them as flagship species during the International
Year of Biodiversity.
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is a global
initiative devoted to celebrating migratory birds and for
promoting their conservation worldwide. It is being organised
by the Secretariats of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird
Agreement (AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species
(CMS) – two international wildlife treaties administered
by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) –
and other partners.
People and dedicated organisations around
the world will be using the event to draw attention to migratory
birds that are threatened by extinction. Activities to mark
WMBD include bird festivals and bird watching trips, public
discussions, exhibitions, presentations, bird rallies and
other educational and public events.
Event organizers are encouraged to register their events
on the WMBD website and can order the WMBD 2010 poster and
other information materials to support their events by writing
For more information please visit:
Environment Programme (UNEP)
is the voice for the environment in the United Nations
system. It is an advocate, educator, catalyst and
facilitator, promoting the wise use of the planet's
natural assets for sustainable development.
The United Nations
General Assembly declared 2010 the
International Year of Biodiversity (IYB).
The goals of this special year are to raise awareness
of the importance of biodiversity, highlighting the
fact that it continues to be lost, and to celebrate
novel solutions being carried out around the world
for its conservation and sustainable use, and the
equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of
genetic resources. The Year 2010 was chosen to coincide
with the biodiversity target agreed by world leaders
in 2002. During the Year scientists will report on
a global trend on biodiversity.
on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
also known as the Bonn Convention) aims to conserve
terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout
their range. It is an intergovernmental treaty concluded
under the aegis of the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP). Since the Convention's entry into
force, its membership has grown steadily to include
113 (as of 1 January 2010) parties from Africa, Central
and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA)
is an intergovernmental treaty developed under the
CMS dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds.
The Agreement covers 255 species of birds, ecologically
dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual
cycle. The treaty covers a large geographic area,
including Europe, parts of Asia, Canada, the Middle
East and Africa. So far 63 out of the 118 countries
(as of 1 February 2010) in this area have become Contracting
Parties to the International Agreement.
is a global partnership
of conservation organisations that strives to conserve
birds, their habitats and global biodiversity. BirdLife
International has long been committed to the conservation
of migratory birds and the habitats upon which they
depend. The BirdLife Partnership is engaged in migratory
bird conservation at numerous scales, from projects
focused on individual species or key sites, to broader
policy and advocacy work to promote migratory species
conservation, and involvement in flyway-scale projects.
is an independent, non-profit, global organisation,
dedicated to the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
Wetlands International works globally, regionally
and nationally to achieve the conservation and wise
use of wetlands, to benefit biodiversity and human
Partnership for the East Asian - Australasian Flyway
- Launched in November 2006, the Partnership is an
informal and voluntary initiative, aimed at protecting
migratory waterbirds, their habitat and the livelihoods
of people dependent upon them. There are currently
21 partners including 10 countries, 3 intergovernmental
agencies and 8 international non-government organisations.
The Partnership provides a framework for international
cooperation, including: (1) development of a Waterbird
Site Network (for sites of international importance
to migratory waterbirds), (2) collaborative activities
to increase knowledge and raise awareness of migratory
waterbirds along the flyway, and (3) building capacity
for the sustainable management and conservation of
migratory waterbird habitat along the flyway.